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Decision Support: Different Levels of Sophistication

"Trust me, I'm an expert," generally is not a good basis for determining which asset management activities are appropriate. For many decades, however, technical expertise has been relied upon to make judgments about what designs would be suitable in the first place, what spares to hold, how to fix things when they went wrong and when to replace them. However, inconsistency, subjectivity, lack of risk awareness, short-termism and poor economic understanding have proven that such decision making is expensive and ineffective in many cases. The human brain is good for many things, but has proven particularly poor at choosing the right mix of risks to take, costs to incur and the best combination of short-term and long-term impacts. Almost any structured thinking and discipline would improve things, but the more critical and/or complex the decision, the more rigorous, fact-based, cost/benefit/risk calculated and auditable methods should be em-ployed (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Decision support methods must be proportionate to criticality and complexity of the decisions

Tip from The (New) Asset Management Handbook Revised: A Guide to ISO55000